PRINCE Andrew made a secret deal to fly around the world on a £40million luxury jet owned by a multi-millionaire banking tycoon, it has been reported.
A bombshell leaked email reveals how the Duke arranged for David Rowland's 14-seat plane to be used for overseas engagements instead of his ageing RAF aircraft.
The Mail on Sunday revealed that in the last two years Andrew travelled on the Global Express at least five times while on royal duties.
In an email to David's 44-year-old son, Jonathan Rowland, the Duke allegedly spoke of how grateful he was for the flights.
He is believed to have wrote: "I am deeply, deeply grateful to your father for making this possible," he wrote. "I have a completely different outlook on life and its possibilities now. Whilst trying not to let it go to my head! Very difficult!"
David Rowland – who has a reported net worth of £612million – is a former Treasurer of the Conservative Party but resigned from the position in 2010 over his status as a tax exile.
On Friday night, Buckingham Palace told the Mail on Sunday that the flights were not taxpayer funded but would not explain how they were paid for and said the matter was "private."
'CONFLICT OF INTEREST'
The Global Express is a luxury jet which would cost up to £7,600-per-hour to hire, according to a spokesman for private jet travel firm Prive Jets.
In the leaked email seen by the MoS, Andrew told Mansour Ojjeh, then-owner of private jet hub Farnborough airport, that he was "increasingly frustrated" by the Government's "inability" to replace the ageing RAF executive planes used by the royal family.
The Palace told SunOnline: "The Sovereign Grant funds official overseas travel undertaken by Members of the Royal Family, at the request of government.
"None of the flights detailed were paid for by the Sovereign Grant."
Senior Tory Nigel Mills – before the election a member of the Commons public accounts committee – told the Mail that Andrew's use of Rowland's jet had "conflict of interest written in 6ft-high print."
Andrew only official income is a £20,000-a-year Navy pension and a reported £249,000 paid to him by the Queen each year.
Air Miles Andy's 'use of pal's private jet'
- Last year, Andrew appeared to use the banker’s jet to fly to the Middle East where he cut the ribbon on the headquarters of Rowland’s Anglo Gulf Trade Bank in Abu Dhabi.
- Flight records show that the Global Express jet flew from Farnborough to Abu Dhabi the day before the ceremony.
- While in the UAE, the prince also attended three Pitch@Palace events – his own business venture which matches investors to tech start-up companies.
- In May this year, Andrew jetted into Canada for a six-day visit while flight records show Rowland’s aircraft flew from Farnborough to an airport in Nova Scotia on May 23.
- Later that day, the Duke attended an event hosted by Nova Scotia’s lieutenant governor.
- He was then taken to Toronto – apparently by his friend’s luxury plane.
- Two months earlier, the prince flew to Bahrain on March 25 – where he had dinner with the country’s King and attended two Pitch@Palace events – the same date the Global Express flew there.
- According to the report, he made a similar trip to Abu Dhabi in 2017 where he met the Crown Prince and attended three Pitch@Palace events – again coinciding with the jet’s flight records.
- Andrew reportedly made more than 30 foreign trips in which he promoted Pitch@Palace since 2014.
- According to the MoS, the Duke opened banks owned by the Rowlands in tax havens Luxembourg and Monaco in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
As well as using the financier's jet, the prince has been accused of promoting David Rowland's Luxembourg-based bank for the super rich while on official trade missions for the UK.
Last week it was alleged the Duke, 59, allowed the banking tycoon to arrange meeting on his trade tours so he could expand his bank and meet wealthy clients.
According to secret emails, the Duke, 59, was alleged to have arranged meetings with overseas business leaders, which allowed the financier’s team to recruit clients — and to have let him see classified government documents.
One discussion with Rowland’s son Jonathan in 2011 came when the Duke was first facing scrutiny over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
AIR MILES ANDY
Responding to a message about their business interests continuing “under the radar”, Andrew is said to have replied: “I like your thinking.”
It is also claimed that the prince allowed Jonathan to accompany him on trade visits to China and Saudia Arabia.
Labour’s Chris Bryant, a former Commons foreign affairs committee member, said: “It all just stinks.
"I don’t think he’s ever been able to draw a distinction between his own personal interest and the national interest. It’s morally offensive.”
He was said to have been allowed to speak to hosts about his family’s bank which offers a discreet service for billionaires.
In another protocol breach, Andrew’s most senior aide — his private secretary Amanda Thirsk — sent the Rowlands a copy of a government-only cable on China.
She was behind the prince’s car-crash Newsnight interview and was later forced to step down from her royal role.
David Rowland, a guest at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, was also said to have paid £40,000 to help clear the debts of the Duke’s former wife Sarah Ferguson.
This is a further blow to the Prince after a second woman claimed she was forced to have sex with him after she was allegedly abused by paedophile multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
In the latest claims against the Duke of York, The Mirror reports the second woman – unnamed – has been speaking to lawyers representing Epstein's other alleged victims.
Lawyers are reportedly looking into whether the new allegations will be used as part of a lawsuit against Epstein's estate.
There is nothing in the latest reports to suggest the woman was coerced into having sex with Andrew.
Buckingham Palace said they would not be commenting on the latest claims.
This follows claims by "sex slave" Virginia Roberts who alleges she was forced into having sex with the Duke three times – allegations Andrew strongly denies.
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